Steph! Steph! Steph +++ Mizzz isn’t an A-lister – he’s an A-hole +++ Seth Rollins forgets to name his challengers for the Ice Bucket Challenge +++ AJ Lee dedicates her life to Paige +++ Suplex – repeat, cont. +++ Cesaro impersonates Muhammad Ali +++ Sheamus is an incredible U.S. champ +++ It’s a Falls Count Anywhere match +++ Kendos, Chairs, and a Table +++ Charles Robinson has got a déjà-vu +++ This is awesome3 +++ Dean Ambrose’s head is harder than cinder blocks
Steph! Steph! Steph
You know that something essential is wrong with you, if you have to agree with JBL. But I can’t help but need to admit that I almost died laughing at the opening segment: Daniel Bryan’s music kicked off RAW, the crowd went nuts but out came Stephanie McMahon to mock the Yes! disciples with her t-shirt and ecstatic Yes! movement. I also had to agree with Stephanie when she called SummerSlam even bigger than WrestleMania. But she did it for the wrong reason: as part of The Authority and a heel character this PPV of course was a success because a new WWE champion was crowned that wasn’t a face but part-time member of The Authority. She also recapitulated the whole show and finished with telling us who – in her oppinion – was the biggest loser. And, of course, this was Brie Bella because she was betrayed by her twin sister Nikki. And the latter then came out to explain herself. Of course, it had to be some jealousy storyline: Bella always wanted to compete with her, was always better and prefered. And now, Nikki feels free and good any everything because she got rid off her. Then, Brie came out to tell her sister that whe would forgive her because she’s still her sister. But Nikki went mad just at the thought of it because she felt the need for Brie to forgive her. As some kind of late compensation, Nikki slapped Brie right in the face and Brie went backstage, crying and with hurt feelings. Side note: I thought that Bella was still fired from WWE, so what did she do there, still part of this storyline?
I have to say that I’m pretty biased split about this storyline. Because on one side I find this very interesting with one twin sister turning on the other. But unfortunately I find Nikki not very good at what she does. Compared with Stephanie, her mic skills are practically non existent. But that’s no wonder, given the fact that most divas hadn’t got the chance until recent months to step up her skills with practicing. You can train yourself at home or in front of family and friends, but it’s always different to do it in front of 10,000 people and a live camera. So, maybe Nikki will get better in this storyline. Hopefully, she will.
Mizzz isn’t an A-lister – he’s an A-hole
The first match of the night was a tag team match between Erick Rowan & Luke Harper (are they still part of the Wyatt Family?) and the new fan-favourite tag team of Big Show & Mark Henry. The new tag team champions in the making in my opinion. And I guess, I’m not the only one. Mark Henry starting almost furiously against Erick Rowan and the finish of this match were quite entertaining. There was just this long part in the middle of the eight minutes that were a bit slow. But the four guys, especially Big Show and Mark Henry are excused for their impressive statures. So, it wasn’t my type of match that I would prefer watching, but Mark Henry winning for his team again was great.
We then witnessed Ric Flair backstage congratulating Dolph Ziggler on his win of the Intercontinental Championship but, of course, Mizzz interrupted them to promise Ziggler that he would get his title back tonight in his re-match. He also told Ziggler something about himself being an A-lister. But that was just handing Ziggler some fabulous pun on a plate. Because he countered with Mizzz wouldn’t be an A-lister but an A-hole. At least, for one that was a segment with The Miz that I slightly enjoyed. Happens not too often.
Seth Rollins forgets to name his challengers for the Ice Bucket Challenge
Now, this is funny, right? But it’s also some intelligent way to put this charity to people’s attention with using it in this storyline. I don’t need to describe the promo because you can watch it right here (and probably already have). Even the Washington Post praised this move as both relevant and entertaining. And it was. The Ice Bucket Challenge is raising awareness to the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) disease that can’t be cured to date. Every participant has to get some ice water over his or her head and before he does so, he needs to challenge other people to do the same within the next 24 hours. If anyone refuses, he has to donate to the ALS Association (in the U.S.) or MND Association and Macmillan in the U.K. You also need to upload your video to YouTube or any other video or Social Media platform to further create awareness. Since I’m almost an Online Editor now, I can only praise this cause because it shows that Social Media isn’t always the evil. You can create pretty awesome things with Social Media. So, keep that going! Side note: Seth Rollins still needs to name his challengers. Advice from me: he should name Dean Ambrose, so we could get a video from some spot in the Nevada desert.
Just moments (and one commercial break) after the attack, Seth Rollins went straight to Triple H and Kane to complain about his former brother. In his mind, he had won the match at SummerSlam, so for him he was finished and done with Dean Ambrose. If only the Lunatic Fringe would think likewise. But since this wasn’t going to happen, Triple H told Seth Rollins that he would have the opportunity to finish Dean Ambrose off for good in the main event match this night. And the WWE Universe would vote for the stipulation for them being at fault for the end of Dean Ambrose. The options were: 1) No Holds Barred; 2) Falls Count Anywhere; 3) No Disqualification. Very similar options. And since we know that WWE polls are faked, we were waiting on what stipulation the WWE creatives have chosen for this match.
AJ Lee dedicates her life to Paige
With the next segment, another love story continued: the one between Paige and AJ Lee. At SummerSlam, Paige had won her title back from AJ Lee; tonight she had to fight Natalya. But it wasn’t a real match because it was going on for just over one minute when AJ Lee’s theme played, and AJ Lee herself came out to skip around the ring. Paige was clearly distracted, so Natalya could get the win only a few seconds later. What followed was a strange promo by AJ Lee, clearly forced to sell some overrated craziness in her character. Before the match, Paige had dedicated it to AJ Lee; now AJ Lee even dedicated her life to Paige. What exactly does that mean? WWE probably explains it with her being crazy, so nobody can understand. Like we also don’t get any explanations for storyline changes or heel / face turns. It just happens, so live with it. It was getting better recently, but I’d like to think that this “craziness” in both Paige and AJ Lee needs to evolve and become comfortable with them. At the moment, their acting just confuses me, but not in a good way. And at the end of this segment, when AJ Lee wanted to shake Paige’s hand inside the ring but Paige fled to the ramp, it went from bad to worse when CM Punk chants hit the roof. Maybe, the audience was just as confused as I was.
Suplex – repeat, cont.
Up next was the presentation of the new WWE championship belt to the new WWE Heavyweight Champion, Brock Lesnar. First, Triple H came out with Stephanie to talk about the belt. But very soon, the new champ came out, led by Paul Heyman. And after his exaggerated promo, I might re-watch Lesnar vs Cena. Not because he got me hyped for it but because I want to count the suplexes to know if it really were sixteen Lesnar hit on Cena. I am also very much convinced that there will be a time when Paul Heyman will talk for a whole WWE show. It will be like the Second Coming when that happens. As of tonight, I was painfully reminded about any time I had to sit in public transport with this one annoying child repeating just one stupid line or playing this one ridiculous ringtone on its cell on and on and on… and on… until it gets a right handful straight into their mouth. Paul Heyman can thank all Gods of the universe that there was a screen between his face and my hand! Usually I like him and his talking. But, hell!, was he annoying tonight.
But at some point, Paul Heyman had said what he felt the world needed to hear, and we got the next match that was the re-match for the Intercontinental Championship between new champ Dolph Ziggler and former champ The Miz. When Mizzz went his walk to the ring, he wore a white coat, some commentator (I think it was Jerry Lawler) was pretty certain that a monk had designed it. Whoever it was, he or she didn’t put much effort in it. Or it needed to look ridiculous. That for, it was pretty awesome, so to speak. What else to say about that? Well, the match lasted for just over six minutes and finished with a 10-count-out to Dolph Ziggler. Consequently, Mizzz won it but Ziggler still got the belt. Because you can only get the belt via submission or pin-fall.
Cesaro impersonates Muhammad Ali
We then saw a very sad Jack Swagger backstage in an interview. He was all by his own, without his voice Zeb Colter, so he had to speak on his own. So, he told us about him still being a proud American, that he won’t give up because that’s “We The People”. And to prove his point, his match against Cesaro was up next.
Cesaro was already inside the ring again. And usually you recognize the mid-carder on this very fact that his entrance isn’t shown on TV. But, the Swiss Superman made the most of it, i.e. the four and a half minutes he got to get his win over his former tag team partner. Actually, Cesaro was quite funny again: goofing and playing with Swagger with impersonating Muhammad Ali’s fighting style: dancing around his opponent, being just too fast for him to even react to anything. Yes, Swagger got some hits and punches, but in the end, he had to take just another embarrassing loss. And the topping of the cake appeared as Bo Dallas telling him that he had lost everything but he could gain back everything as well. He just has to… you guessed it!
Sheamus is an incredible U.S. champ
For the next segment we got to see Chris Jericho and his porn tache for an interview. It’s not even Movember, Y2J! So, I guess, that was your own decision. His conclusion from his loss against Bray Wyatt at SummerSlam was that Bray Wyatt might be dead on the inside. But he, Chris Jericho himself, wasn’t dead inside, quite the opposite. I’m still not convinced. Y2J as a babyface just doesn’t work for me.
Anyway, that was it from Jericho for this episode of RAW. And up next we got another tag team match between Randy Orton & Rybaxel and Roman Reigns & Sheamus & RVD. About Sheamus, Michael Cole told us that he would be an incredible U.S. champ so far. Which made me laugh at first because I couldn’t remember his last title defense. I searched for it and it was indeed on 8 July against Alberto Del Rio at Main Event. He didn’t have one single title defense at RAW so far. Further investigation to this issue convinced me to put my newly gained knowledge right into this table:
|After 110 days||Dean Ambrose||Sheamus|
This little table might explain why moaning about Sheamus’ few title defenses is basically rubbish. Yes, I’m not completely free from wondering when he will be forced to defend the U.S. title again but the numbers of the first 110 days of their respective reigns are quite even. The combined number of defenses by Sheamus is even three matches more than Dean Ambrose had. And it will increase while Dean Ambrose is now at least one months away from WWE. Dean Ambrose also had just one more TV match with the belt on the line up to this point of 110 days (110 days for Sheamus will be coming Saturday, by the way). So, actually there is no point in moaning and complaining any more.
The match itself was pretty normal: it lasted for eight minutes and the hero (Reigns) came in for the first time with already six minutes on the clock. The good thing about this match was that RVD got the win for his team against Curtis Axel. I always knew that Dean Ambrose has got a soft spot for RVD but he only grew on me with him fanboying over Dean Ambrose at SummerSlam.
Within the next backstage promo, Bray Wyatt got his answer for Y2J, telling him and us that he’s got the new face of salvation. And Goldust & Stardust showed everyone, but especially The Usos, that they have got the ambition to become the new tag team champions. After six minutes they got a decent win.
And after his glorious victory over Jack Swagger, Rusev came out inside the ring with Lana who talked about Putin being proud of Rusev and that the Russian flag was raised. But she wasn’t allowed to talk any further because most certainly Rusev’s next challenger came out to join him inside the ring: Mark Henry. He talked like a proud American, didn’t allow Lana to interrupt him and even called both of them jackasses for the way they have treated other countries’ flags. He then offered Rusev a personal guided tour to the hall of pain, and he not just offered it, he even got him a small taste of it. That was a great promo for my liking. Even if I can’t quite connect with this U.S.A vs Russia storyline, I really felt Mark Henry’s pride. And him being a black guy, maybe becoming victorious over Rusev instead of the white guy Swagger, would be some great move by WWE. A real match between these two should be interesting and entertaining.
And finally we got the main event match: Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins. But before the match, we needed to know the stipulation for it. So, Jerry Lawler was inside the ring to present us the outcome: 1) Falls Count Anywhere (41%); 2) No Holds Barred (34%); 3) No Disqualification (25%). Right decision though, because Falls Count Anywhere is like a combination of the other two stipulations plus you can use the whole arena to get the win.
Straight after the announcement, Dean Ambrose came out. And when Seth Rollins made his entrance, there was quite some change noticeable within the actions and expressions of Dean Ambrose. He now acted like he wouldn’t care anymore about Seth Rollins once being a friend and brother to him. Like the little promo before backstage might suggest: he now just wants to hurt him, making his life as uncomfortable as possible. He has accepted that there is no way back to former friendship. He has accepted that Seth Rollins doesn’t care about him. So, love slowly turned right into hate with this match probably being only the start with this pause of a month until Dean Ambrose will come back just right in time to built their third and maybe final match of this feud at Hell In A Cell and that probably will be indeed in a cage.
Kendos, Chairs, and a Table
Of course, there was no slow start when the bell rang. Both men went straight after each other to put on a show of just over twenty minutes that was probably the match of the year. After a quite even start, Dean Ambrose finally kicked Seth Rollins out of the ring with a perfect dropkick. And after some goofing on the barricade, he followed Seth Rollins through the crowd. Punches were thrown at each other while referee Charles Robinson needed to be cautious for himself not to being hit himself. The fist fight progressed to the ramp and after some counters by both guys, Dean Ambrose finally got a pin on Seth Rollins, but the latter kicked out. With one huge punch, Dean Ambrose made a point to continue the match inside the ring again. At least, that’s were the toys are.
Dean Ambrose interacted great with the audience when he uncovered some Kendos and chairs from under the ring. He still doesn’t like Kendos but pretty much loves chairs, so he got one of them into the ring to show some variations of how to use a chair the correct way: to slam Seth Rollins onto the mat and the chair to name just one. And finally he put the chair right into the “steel” post, has a final look on it and celebrates his thinking process with a little dance of joy. Fabulous. Funny. But maybe he was a little distracted from his eye flirt with Charles Robinson because Seth Rollins countered his attempt to throw him right into the stacked chair. Instead, it was Dean Ambrose who had to feel it. And that was almost the first attack by Seth Rollins after four minutes into the match.
Charles Robinson has got a déjà-vu
During the commercial break we saw the jump from Dean Ambrose over the top rope finished with a hit from a Kendo stick by Seth Rollins. Charles Robinson afterwards showed some impressive jump over both men to do his counting. Dean Ambrose could kick out but had to take some serious Kendo beating until RAW went live again. Kendo stick in mouth initially, Dean Ambrose had to take further punishment but he laughed at it when asked by Seth Rollins if that was it what he wanted. He finally ended the beating when he caught the stick under his left arm like he did in the No Disqualification match against Cesaro. Just pay attention to the reaction by Charles Robinson in this scene. Or even better: watch the whole match again and pay him attention the whole time. This man probably feels more pain from watching these matches than the opponents themselves! This man is a real joy to watch.
We went back to wrestling without toys when Dean Ambrose’s first attempt for the Pendulum Lariat failed and Seth Rollins caught him with a foot to his head. Dean Ambrose looked as dazed and confused like you could possibly could afterwards and Seth Rollins went for him again to hit him in the corner of the ring. But Dean Ambrose this time countered with a Tornado DDT that left Seth Rollins shattered for once, so Dean Ambrose could self-slapping his own face to announce Dirty Deeds. But Seth Rollins countered again, then Dean Ambrose fled the Curb Stomp and when both men met again, it was for a double cross body in the middle of the ring. A pretty good and fabulous sold fist fight later, Dean Ambrose caught the Kendo stick for his turn to hit Seth Rollins with it. And after he was finished, he was finally sitting inside the ring, looking like some very satisfied dog puppy. And when he just got another idea popped right up into his mind, Charles Robinson must have thought about experiencing a déjà-vu because all of these chairs making their way inside the ring over the top rope.
This is awesome3
The chairs were certainly meant for Seth Rollins to land in but he countered and at the end it was Dean Ambrose himself, who had to take the not so comfortable landing. Around this time, Kane strolled by to sit at ringside to watch the match. Seth Rollins all of a sudden was afraid that Kane could take his win from him. He clearly wanted to show daddy Triple H that he could handle this problem on his own. So, he went outside of the ring to get another nice item to play with: a table. But this time, Dean Ambrose countered him for his attempt to Curb Stomp Dean Ambrose from the top rope into the table. Instead, both men were flying backs first in it to break it in half.
Afterwards, Kane interferes for the first time but Dean Ambrose got him and some moments later also Seth Rollins outside the ring to follow with a suicide dive through the ropes on both men. Back inside the ring, the Lariat worked this time, Dirty Deeds followed as well but again, Kane interfered, this time with interrupting the counting, pulling Dean Ambrose outside the ring on his right foot. Some beating later, Dean Ambrose got the upper hand, also throws Seth Rollins over the barricades and finally stood tall on the announcers table. By this time, this match had heard This Is Awesome chants for a whopping three times, which is awesome in itself and well deserved.
Dean Ambrose’s head is harder than cinder blocks
Dean Ambrose now wanted to finish Seth Rollins off – most certainly with Dirty Deeds onto the announcers table. But Kane interfered again to chokeslam Dean Ambrose into his well prepared table. A Curb Stomp by Seth Rollins into the same table followed. But that wasn’t enough for Seth Rollins. He really wanted to finish Dean Ambrose, so he advised Kane to uncover a pile of cinder blocks. Dean Ambrose’s head was placed on it by Kane and Seth Rollins finally Curb Stomped him into the concrete as well.
In such moments it’s always quite amusing to listen to Michael Cole screaming that someone should stop Kane resp. Seth Rollins. Also Charles Robinson afterwards told both men that they went too far. Well, both Michael Cole and Charles Robinson could have stopped them, right? Anyway, Dean Ambrose wasn’t moving for a while and he was carried away on a stretcher while he added some spasm to his right arm to increase the drama. The next day we heard that his real injuries couldn’t be examined because apparently Dean Ambrose went off the arena and is missed since. Probably he just went home, since he lives in Las Vegas? But seriously: that’s a nice angle really to write him off television, so he can go filming “Lockdown” for WWE. And anyone who thinks now that Dean Ambrose will come back to be a jobber, is some big fool. Have you all learned nothing from the last two WWE shows, Dean Ambrose was part of it?